The Day of the Beast (1995)
By: Matt Moss on April 1, 2012  | 
BIFFF (Korea) | All Regions, NTSC | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | Spanish DD 2.0 | 103 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Starring: Alex Angulo, Armando De Razza, Santiago Segura, Terele Pavez, Nathalie Seseña
Screenplay: Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Álex de la Iglesia
Country: Spain
External Links
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A Spanish priest hesitantly enters a grimy basement-level music store. His presence is curiously out of place amongst the wall-to-wall pentagrams and grinning hell-spawn. Regardless, he steps into this dank domain of the inner-city Death Metal connoisseur.

Clutched in his hand is a list. Three diabolical recording artists certain to ensure Satanic servitude. Napalm Death. Iron Maiden. AC/DC. The perfect soundtrack for a mission of unrepentant spiritual corruption. He's obviously done his homework.

Welcome to El Dia De La Bestia (The Day Of The Beast). If the potential scenario of a man of God losing his shit to some bitchin' 80s grindcore gives you reason to smile - then this film will surely warm your black, blasphemous heart.

When we first meet our metal-curious priest (Alex Angulo) he's hell-bent on joining the ranks of the devil's own disciples. Is he mental? Or has he simply uncovered a secret biblical code pinpointing the exact birth-date of the Anti-Christ and it's kinda ruined his daily routine?

Mostly, it seems, the latter. His plan: a soul-selling suicide-mission to kill the bad seed newborn and put the breaks on the End of Days. First, get in cahoots with Old Scratch. Then get close enough to murder his apocalypse-bringing offspring. Make that unholy little bastard's first day on Earth his last.
But who can teach him to sin bad enough to gain the Devil's attention? Enter Jose (Santiago Segura). Dirtbag proprietor of the Death Metal store. Under his foul-mouthed, acid-fried tutelage, our priest violently kidnaps goateed TV personality Cavan (Armando De Razza), a black-clad occult-expert specialising in on-air exorcisms. In other words - the perfect man to arrange a meet-and-greet session with the Dark Lord. Naturally they force him to perform an improvised Black Mass in his living room, complete with illicit drugs and the freshly-squeezed blood of a virgin. Enter the Devil himself...

The Day Of The Beast is directed by infamous Spanish firebrand Alex De La Iglesia. You may know him from films such as Perdita Durango (demented Mexican voodoo road movie with Javier Bardem and Screamin' Jay Hawkins) and the recent festival favourite The Last Circus (where unrequited love meets civil war and machinegun-blasting homicidal clowns). I'll be honest: I'm quite the fan and wanted to see "the devil one" for a long time.

But this one's a little harder to track down. While often excitedly mentioned in cult-movie circles, it doesn't seem to have much of a release outside of Spain. DVD copies tend to be wallet-cripplingly expensive and sometimes lacking English subtitles. So you can imagine my Satanic glee when stumbling over a cheap copy at my local DVD Import store. From Korea of all places! I eagerly checked if it had subtitles. Yep. Praise the Evil Cloven-Hoofed One - We were in business!

And I wasn't disappointed. It perfectly fits with the rest of Alex's work. Like his others, it is stylishly wild and unpredictable. Bursting with sweaty, pulp-novel luridness.

His films never follow simple genre conventions. Instead, they are lead by his oil-black sense of humour and sledgehammer-blunt social satire. They swing from one crazy, manic scene to the next with controlled, fluid direction. Unconcerned with narrative precision, bizarre concepts and violence-charged situations pile up - creating a locomotive-like visceral inertia.

By the end, his films often become chaotic and messy. The Day Of The Beast is no exception. But it is also just as relentlessly entertaining. Another example of Alex's focus on character-based storytelling. And his characters are always hot-blooded, troubled souls driven by dark, unrestrained impulses. The fun is in seeing them react to the next enjoyably perverse predicament they're thrown into.

The Day Of The Beast is not for the timid. And subtlety has no place here. I wouldn't want it any other way. At one point, our anti-hero priest asks Jose to spin a Death Metal album backwards. He's looking for a hidden unholy message. Jose argues that there's no need. Just hit play and all the blasphemy that you need is right there. At full volume. Just like The Day Of The Beast.
The transfer is a little on the murky side. Certainly not spectacular, but watchable and in widescreen. This is definitely no deluxe, remastered edition. But acceptable for such an affordable bare-bones release.
Again, don't get too excited. But the sound does the job. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Extra Features
Trailer only.
The Verdict
Loco Spanish fun with the Devil. Profane, funny and creepy  in equal measures. Track it down.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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